By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Oct 25, 2003 at 12:17 PM

{image1} Already home to a Gap store, the Shops of Grand Avenue will add another Gap, Inc. store, Old Navy, next year. The company has been researching various locations in downtown Milwaukee for several months and is now poised to sell $20 paint pants to the area's vast population of college students and young adults.

Upon final lease approval, the new store will be built on the second floor of the center's Plankinton Arcade. Old Navy joins previously announced TJ Maxx and Linens 'n Things at the Shops of Grand Avenue.

The Old Navy announcement comes with a bit of "one step forward, two steps back" buzz as Shops of Grand Avenue officials also told us that its other new tenants Linens 'N Things and TJ Maxx will not be open in time for the big Christmas and holiday shopping season that is just around the corner. While hopeful for fall 2003 openings, TJ Maxx and Linens 'n Things are now scheduled for spring 2004. The Old Navy store is expected to open in summer 2004.

"The Shops of Grand Avenue has had an exciting year with the announcements of TJ Maxx and Linens 'n Things, important expansions and renewals including Children's Place, Payless Shoes, Rainbow, Wolf Camera, and Foot Locker, as well as great additions to our food offerings with the very successful openings of Applebee's, Wild Flour Bakery, Chocolate Factory, Qdoba, Subway, and Potbelly Sandwich Works," said Nan Schwartz, General Manager.

This will be the fifth Old Navy location in the market. Brookfield Square is home to another store, as is Southridge, Brown Deer on Green Bay Rd. and an outlet shop in Johnson Creek.

Gap Inc. was founded in 1969 by Donald and Doris Fisher in San Francisco, Calif., with a single store and a handful of employees. Today, it's one of the world's largest specialty retailers with three of the most recognized brands in the apparel industry -- Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.

Banana Republic opened first in downtown Milwaukee at the old Grand Avenue Mall in 1982 but has since closed and opened locations at Mayfair and Bayshore Malls.

The announcement of the opening of this Old Navy is yet another indication that Wisconsin Ave., west of the Milwaukee River is coming to life.

"I am thrilled to hear that yet another national chain is recognizing the terrific opportunities that Downtown Milwaukee and the Shops of Grand Avenue have to offer. Downtown Milwaukee is becoming an even more exciting place to live, work, play, and shop every day and to hear that Old Navy agrees with that sentiment is great news!"," said Ellen Winters, executive director of the Westown Association.

Together with the opening of the new anchor stores, the Shops of Grand Avenue will offer a newly designed visitor parking program to make parking more convenient and economical for the typical shopper. The center's 1,800-car parking garage has been fitted with new and brighter metal halide light fixtures, and freshly painted ceiling planes that noticeable make the parking experience more enjoyable. The first three levels of the garage will be reserved for visitors of the Shops of Grand Avenue.

"Our goal is to make parking easy, safe, and affordable for our customers", said Schwartz. "You will see more spaces available for shoppers, spaces more closely located to the entrances, and clean, brightly lighted parking areas."

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.